OC Sport the owner and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series has today confirmed a ninth entry for Act one of the 2017 circuit which starts off in Muscat in Oman tomorrow.
NZL Sailing Team is to join the fast-paced world of Stadium Racing as a wildcard for Act 1. The second of two youth Kiwi teams alongside Tawera Racing, the NZL Sailing Team crew is using the Series to gain experience in the high-performance world of foiling multihull sailing.
Yachting New Zealand's Aon Fast Track Programme played a large part in putting together the NZL Sailing Team squad, who all hail from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Other talented sailors from RNZYS competing this season include the Kiwis on board Tawera Racing, Oman Air's Phil Robertson, SAP Extreme Sailing Team's Adam Minoprio and Red Bull Sailing Team's Stewart Dodson and Will Tiller.
The young sailors, whose ages range from 19-23, are headed up by Logan Dunning Beck, 2016 Weymouth Sailing World Cup champion in the 49er. Dunning Beck returns to the Series having competed on board wildcard team RNZYS Performance Programme in Sydney last season alongside the co-skippers of Tawera Racing, Chris Steele and Graeme Sutherland.
Dunning Beck, who will helm the boat, is looking forward to competing in Muscat: “We are excited about going toe-to-toe with experienced sailors and tackling a steep learning curve; it is a great opportunity for the team,” he said.
“The fleet is larger than we have sailed against previously and we will be pushing harder in the racing. But we are ready for the challenge this presents.
“We are a new team all below the age of 24, and everyone is fit, strong and excited to race. We are looking to build experience at this event and of course race hard,” added Dunning Beck, whose team will be competing in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in Bermuda in June, alongside British team Land Rover BAR Academy and fellow Muscat wildcard Team Tilt.
In a similar set-up to Land Rover BAR Academy, NZL Sailing Team trimmers Isaac McHardie and Harry Hull will rotate roles throughout the Act. Hull, who holds several national championship titles in multihulls and match racing, also competed on board RNZYS Performance Programme alongside Dunning Beck, as did Luca Brown who will be on foil trim.
The youngest member of the crew, McHardie holds one world record in the SL16 while bowman Matthew Kempkers is an experienced Laser sailor. Rounding off the roster is Brown, who has competed in a range of classes including, most recently the TP52.
The team will take its place on the start line tomorrow as the 2017 season opener gets underway. The event is due to begin at 13:00 (UTC+4) with open water racing in front of Muscat's Old Town.
Fans can follow the action via the official social media platforms and website and can watch racing live on the official Facebook and YouTube channels from 14:00-17:30 (UTC+4) Friday 10 March and 13:30-17:00 (UTC+4) Saturday 11 March.
NZL Sailing Team (NZL) crew line-up for Act 1, Muscat
Skipper/helm: Logan Dunning Beck (NZL)
Mainsail trimmer: Harry Hull (NZL)/Isaac McHardie (NZL)
Trimmer: Isaac McHardie (NZL)/Harry Hull (NZL)
Bowman: Matthew Kempkers (NZL)
Foil trimmer: Luca Brown (NZL)
Coach: Stuart Mackinven (NZL)